gavel on money

Though most people know what happens when someone passes away, they may not know much about the probate process. This is a complex legal matter, so understanding the steps you must take in this situation if you have been named the executor of an estate to ensure you protect the assets of your loved one is critical. The following blog explores the probate steps required in Floria and why connecting with a probate lawyer in Pasco County, FL is essential to helping guide you through administering a loved one’s estate.

What Is Probate?

Generally, most wills in Florida go through the probate process. Essentially, the courts will supervise the distribution of assets from a will to their intended beneficiaries. If there is no will, the courts will assume responsibility for handling the probate process.

What Probate Steps Must I Complete?

Because this is a serious legal matter, there are many steps involved in this process to ensure everything is completed in accordance with Florida law. Probate will begin when the executor of the deceased’s estate submits the will to the court. This must be done within ten days of their death. Once this has been done, you can file to start the probate process, which will grant permission to start estate administration.

After initiating the process, you must contact the beneficiaries in the will to inform them probate has begun before taking inventory of the assets held by the estate. This list must include all funds, trusts, property and debt. You must compile this into a list and provide the value of these assets. Additionally, you must provide information about taxes that must be paid before submitting this information to the court. After, you will pay all outstanding debts before paying the beneficiaries their portion of the estate as determined by the will, which you must request approval for from the courts. Once this step is complete, you can file a petition to close out the estate, which, once approved, officially ends the probate process.

What Should I Do if I Need Legal Assistance?

This process generally takes six to nine months to complete in Florida. Additionally, there are strict deadlines you must meet and a considerable amount of paperwork to file. As such, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options during this process.

When your loved one passes away, and you are responsible for executing their estate, it can be overwhelming. At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, we understand how complex this process can be, especially for those grieving the loss of a loved one. As such, our compassionate and competent team is here to support you every step along the way.  Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.